Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Sew Grateful: Reflections Day

With all the round up posts going on recently at the beginning of the year, this is a difficult post to write, without feeling like I am repeating myself.

Who am I grateful to for supporting and encouraging my sewing obsession?

The most obvious is the ever patient husband, P.

P, last summer.
I have no dedicated sewing space, so he happily puts up with me sewing in the same room as he is watching TV. Generally the set up is this: P, perched on one side of the sofa, feet up off the floor, whilst the other 1.5 sofas, plus the table, plus the floor (if I am cutting out) are littered with fabric, patterns, machines, iPad and sewing paraphernalia. He didn't mind that i bought an overlocker then told him he was to give me it for Christmas. He is mostly tolerant of finding pins in the sofa. He is happy with me spending money on fabric that then sits in our (VERY) limited storage space for months (years) on end. He puts up with 2 sewing machines and an overlocker (again, see comment about limited storage space). He persuaded me to take my sewing machine on holiday and then didn't complain when I didn't actually do any sewing, even though he had to battle to fit it in the car. He only complains occasionally about the fact that I have never made him anything. He is my ever patient photographer. He even (occasionally) reads my blog, even though he hasn't the first idea what I'm talking about! He really is the best!

Next up, my mum. It was her that introduced me to craft and sewing as a child, and who taught me the basics. When I returned to sewing later in life, I had a lot to learn, but thanks to my mum I knew how to operate a sewing machine, how to hand baste, how to slipstich, how to press, how to take up the bottom of my jeans: the fundamentals. She helped me make made (and I assisted) my Graduation Ball gown. I still have the "12 days of Christmas" baubles that we made together when I was young, and hang them on my tree every year. She used to buy Clothkits kits (the first time around) and together we would make clothes and dolls. She gave me my first and second sewing machines and contributed towards the cost of my current one. And she helped me make 2 pairs of curtains when I was heavily pregnant with Small Boy. Without her, I doubt I would ever had got into sewing. Thank you, mum!

Embarrassing 90's photo: my graduation ball dress, made by Mum
Now to my sewing teacher. I got back into sewing as an adult, by attending a dressmaking evening course, which I went to for 2 terms before I had to stop to have Small Boy. The teacher there was a superb dressmaker, but not a brilliant teacher. I made 2 garments during her classes, but never felt like I learned much - I always had to go back to her for guidance on the next step. After Small Boy was born and big enough to leave in the evenings, I went back to evening classes, but had to change the evening to fit with P's work and childcare and so discovered my new teacher Pam. Pam is not a dressmaker by trade - her thing is actually machine embroidery, but like most "crafty" people, she does a bit of everything. She also works in Mandors in Edinburgh. Pam is not necessarily an expert, but is happy to admit it. She is approachable and explains things in such a way that you learn and retain the information. She is a lovely lady who is so supportive and although she teaches a beginners class, is happy for me to return term after term, to her class, because I like it! This term I have decided not to go back, at least until after the baby is born. The term was running into May, when I am due, but I also need to take my own machine and I knew it would be too much to carry it the long walk from car to class, with a giant bump in tow. I am missing her this term! And the chat from the other girls in the class!

And lastly the online sewing community. I've said so much about this in my blog already but I can't not mention you guys. I discovered the online community and Pam within about 6 months of each other, so it's hard to credit what I learned from where, and where to attribute the beginnings of this obsession. In the past year, I have discovered so many more blogs, found the world of Indie Pattern makers (from which I will never look back - honestly, how many big 4 patterns have you known me to make?), physically met actual bloggers (you guys exist in real life too?), and discovered that a lot of you like what I sew, and write! I now have friends in Australia and America, as well as all over the UK, and we share something really special: a passion for our hobby that surpasses anything else.

Real life Bloggers
I also have to make special mention to Danielle, who sent me the fabric I'd been trying to track down, for free, from Australia, because I'd had a bit of a run of bad luck last year and she felt that I needed cheering up. I have real, physical friends that have never done anything so generous in spirit. Thank you, Danielle. Big virtual hug for you! That still brings tears to my eyes, and I promise that I will make that Archer, just as soon as I get my body back to myself! x

Gingham courtesy of Danielle at One Small Stitch
So that's me. For someone who was struggling with this, I seem to have written rather a lot. This would beat most BAFTA acceptance speeches! By now you are probably all at the bar, talking amongst yourselves and wondering when I'm going to stop the histrionics and let the next person on. You've heard it might be Brad or George on next...


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20 comments

  1. Such a nice post Helen! Sewing blogging is just so rewarding!

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  2. This is lovely - you write so beautifully. I hope your husband and mum get a chance to read this! And oh - the 90s dress! I had one just like that in dark green - I think was the first dress I made for myself (with mum on standby...) PS: You can make whatever you like with it! Virtual hug back for you oxo

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    1. Thank you! Yes, they have read it and were really chuffed!

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  3. Lovely post, you're absolutely right, all the help and support (and tolerance!) make a huge difference :)

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  4. As the ever patient husband in question, I'd like to say that sewing clearly makes you happy and when you are are happy, then so are we. From the comments and links, there is a great wee community on the go and it's all worth it.

    Love P and Small Boy xx

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    1. So sweet! What a wonderfully supportive relationship!

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  5. Awwww…such a lovely post! I have an ever patient husband as well.. they are the best!!

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    1. They are, and they are a necessity, I think. We are very lucky!

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  6. Aww ever patient husband sounds lovely. I read this post to my husband, made him chuckle re: pins in sofa and taking sewing machine on hols- Mine had to physically restrain me from doing that!

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    1. If I hadn't been so tired I would absolutely have sewn when we were away! The advantage of not going abroad!

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  7. What a nice post, your husband sounds lovely and supportive particularly as sewing can be a hobby that really grows arms and legs! I love the sound of your sewing class too, great to have some really life sewing chat and support.

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  8. This was so heart warming to read! My family is very supportive of my obsession, I mean hobby and it means so much, doesn't it? How thoughtful of Danielle - that gingham will make a great Archer!

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  9. lovely post Helen! It seems like you have a great support around you which is the most important thing. Keep loving what you do :)

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  10. What a lovely post! What is it about husbands and stray pins / needles, I am sure mine has magnetic feet!!

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